Distractions, interruptions, or anything that just feels like work can create a mental block. Distractions and interruptions are annoying although some interruptions end up being fodder for writing. I say that because interruptions can be messy, seemingly meaningless, or dried up but often food for thought.
Food for thought comes from all around us: the messy office, children playing, horses naying, birds singing, or someone calling our name. When I hear my name, my first thought is, “not another interruption!” But these interruptions can sometimes bring up a scene in a story or an informational article. Humor can even be applied to life’s interruptions.
A mental block is a completely different animal. You look at something or a thought races through your mind––then nothing. Blank. You had a great idea or a line for your story and it’s gone. It feels like a roadblock that stops you in your tracks.
Today I realized that looking at my emails is a roadblock for me. Not the interruption necessarily, but thinking about all of the things I need to do. Work in the sense of a duty, labor, or task that needs to be done. I need to unsubscribe to this one, I’d like to read that one later, another needs a response, and I’m not sure what I want to do with it. Many tasks that don’t fit with the creative work I want to accomplish. The last one just feels like work. When I hit a roadblock, I want to read a science fiction novel or watch TV and eat lunch. When I closed my emails and put them out of my mind, I was able to sit down and write about my roadblocks.
Whenever possible, saving your roadblocks until after your creative work is done, will move you forward in your creative writing goals.
Find your muse or just write right now!